Spring semester is over, but winter rules are still in effect! Here’s a glimpse back to the first tee at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Golf Course in the 1930s. Did you have a favorite place to hit the links in the Copper Country? Let us know in the comments.
Dr. Laszlo Valentyik, 87, a resident of Houghton passed away Friday, October 28, 2022.
He was born on September 13, 1935, in Budapest, Hungary, son of Laszlo and Erzsebet Valentyik.
Laszlo grew up in Budapest during World War II and the post-war years, and enjoyed academics, sports, and working on cars/trucks and all things mechanical. He was especially interested in table tennis and achieved the title as Hungarian National Table Tennis Champion.
Laszlo escaped from Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and immigrated to the United Kingdom.
He graduated with a Doctorate in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University and worked as an engineer for the UK government. In 1967 Dr. Valentyik accepted a position with Michigan Technological University (MTU) as a professor in the Mining Engineering Department teaching and conducting research.
In 1981 he collaborated and shared receipt of the Neil Rice award at MTU for the research publication, “Production and Evaluation of Lignite Pellets”.
In 1982 Dr. Valentyik married Louise Helene Fortin, from Quebec, Canada. They lived in Houghton and were active members of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church. In March of 2007, Helene preceded Laszlo in death following a battle with breast cancer.
Laszlo was perpetually optimistic, friendly, and immensely enjoyed connecting with people in his community. He loved gardening, winemaking, fixing vehicles, traveling and staying physically active. His intense desire for continual learning was evident in every aspect of his life. Including learning several languages such as French, German, English, Russian, and completing multiple educational certificates beyond his PhD.
He is survived by his two children Terez Valentyik (Ted) Grady and Peter Valentyik; grandchildren Ryan, Jonathan, and Sarah Grady.
Laszlo’s family plans to gather for an informal remembrance in the Alumnae Room A in the Memorial Union on the campus of MTU on Saturday, May 20th at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to stop by to share a story or memory of Laszlo with immediate family.
To view Laszlo’s obituary or to send condolences please visit memorialchapel.net.
The Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Service – Hancock Chapel has assisted the family with arrangements.
Dr. Sung Mook Lee, a respected scientist, devoted father, and esteemed former member of the Houghton community, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2023, in Santa Ana, California. He was 90 years old.
Born on March 2nd, 1933, in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Lee came to the United States after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Yonsei University. He continued his studies at The Ohio State University, earning a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1961.
Dr. Lee began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Denison University in Ohio before joining Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Michigan, in 1965. He made significant contributions to the University, ultimately serving as the Director of the Keweenaw Research Center in 1976 and later as Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School in 1991.
Following his retirement from MTU in 2000, Dr. Lee remained active in the academic community, serving as a Visiting Scientist for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University until 2011. He was also a proud member of the Army Science Board (ASB) during two separate stints, from 1991 to 1998 and again starting in 2008.
Dr. Lee was a dedicated public servant, providing invaluable advice on advanced science and engineering education and research to governments worldwide, including Korea, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia, as well as multiple US state governments, boards, and professional societies.
His love for adventure and discovery led him to Antarctica, where he studied the physics-based structure of snow and Antarctic ice. He served on the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, the International Aviation Snow Symposium, and other professional councils. His outstanding work earned him the Antarctica Service Medal of the US Navy in 1987 and the Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service, US Army Antarctic Service Medal of the United States in 1997.
Dr. Lee was a loving father to his three children, Peter, Patty, and Janet, who have all built successful careers in science, engineering, and law. He was a dedicated husband to Chungmi Kim and always remembered his first wife, Incha Lee, the mother of his children. Dr. Lee also leaves behind his brother, Yung Mook, and sister, In Mook, and six grandchildren.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Lee had a passion for classical music and cherished attending live performances of symphony orchestras and grand operas.
Many people around the world will remember Dr. Sung Mook Lee as an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to serving others, advancing scientific knowledge, and enriching the lives of those around him. His unwavering commitment to excellence and his warm, generous spirit will be dearly missed.
The family requests that In lieu of flowers, a donation to Crush Rett Syndrome will help lead to a cure for one of Dr. Lee’s grandchildren, who suffers from Rett Syndrome. Donations can be mailed to Crush Rett Syndrome, 602 E. Rawhide Ave., Gilbert, AZ or online at mightycause. com/donate/Crush-Rett- Syndrome.
The weather is warming up, which means t-shirts, shorts, and of course, volleyball in the mud! As winter comes to a close and we welcome spring, the common campus spaces and the local trails, beaches, and woods offer much outdoor fun. What was your favorite spring activity on campus? Perhaps you recognize someone in this picture, Spring Fling circa 2000.
While there is still plenty of snow on the ground, our flashback image reminds us that the spring melt is coming! Pictured here is the Redridge Steel Dam during a flood stage on Easter Sunday 1941. The pressure of the water was so great that the gates of the spillway began to collapse one by one until there were none left out of the six that were holding water back. The mighty waters of the Keweenaw’s waterfalls are sure to be at peak flow later this semester. Did you have a favorite place to go chasing waterfalls in your days at Tech? Share in the comments.
In this glimpse back, we see researchers from the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) hard at work on infrared testing on February 21, 1980. The KRC is a multidisciplinary outfit that is active across a broad spectrum of vehicle development. Originally established by the United States Army for deep snow mobility testing, the KRC has been involved in commercial, industrial, and military vehicle applications for over 60 years. Did you have any involvement with the center or its activities while you were a student? Share your story!
Check out this great flashback to Mont Ripley from the Daily Mining Gazette on December 26, 1958.
“Fred Lonsdorf, Michigan Tech ski coach, believes in starting skiers at the youngest age possible. Here, Fred demonstrates the downhill schussing position to his oldest daughter, Lynn. Lonsdorf has done more for skiing in Michigan and the Midwest than anyone else. He truly is the old pro of Mont Ripley and children, as well as adults, are amazed at the smoothness of the Lonsdorf technique. They clutter around him for tips and advice and probably will continue to do so for some time to come. Fred stresses one point and calls this the best tip he can give any skier or potential racer: “Get out and practice.” Lonsdorf truly practices what he preaches, because all Lonsdorf-coached skiers get plenty of practice and racing experience.”
Does anyone have any fond memories of Coach Lonsdorf, or perhaps some great stories to share from hitting the slopes with friends and family?
From Huskies tailgates to campfires, or maybe a quick snack between classes, nothing quite satisfies like a Vollwerth’s hot dog! These two students are enjoying the King of Meats circa 1968. What is your favorite bite from this beloved local business?
Max Seel, a professor emeritus of the physics department at Michigan Technological University, died on September 14, 2022, surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness.
He was born on October 12, 1949, in Koesching, Germany, son of Andreas and Walburga Seel.
After receiving a Master’s Degree in Physics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and a PhD from the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with IBM Research in San Jose, California, and then as privatdozent at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. Seel joined the Michigan Tech faculty as an associate professor of physics in 1986. He served as interim head of the Department of Computer Science in 1988 and was promoted to full professor of physics in 1989. In January 1990, he was named interim dean, and from 1991 to 2008 he was the dean of the College of Sciences and Arts. Seel was appointed interim provost in 2009 and provost and vice president of academic affairs in 2010. He returned to Physics in 2015 and retired in 2016.
Seel was a member of the American Physical Society, Sigma Pi Sigma, and Sigma Xi. He is the author of ninety publications and has been an invited speaker at universities, conferences, and industry laboratories in the US and Europe. His research areas were computational solid-state Physics and Quantum Chemistry.
For thirty years, he went with his boat Bavaria to Isle Royale. He played cello with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, read many books, worked with digital photography, and from time to time did oil and acrylic paintings. In his retirement, he also rediscovered building and flying remote-controlled airplanes.
Preceding him in death are his parents and brother Gerhard Seel. He is survived by his wife Mary Ann Seel, his daughter Natalie (Jeremy) Lankford of Houston, TX, and Son Max (Elena) Seel of Guilford, CT, who are his children with his first wife Ingrid, grandchildren Kai, Max, and Astrid, stepson Cole Berryman of Appleton, WI, brother Andreas Seel, and four nephews Sebastian, Florentin, Benedikt, and Jonathan Seel in Germany, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dave and Kathy Manderfield and nephews Adam, Jared, and David Manderfield and niece Megan Manderfield.
Robert K. Snortland, 87, passed away Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Portage Pointe in Hancock, MI.
He was born a twin on April 6, 1935, in Sharon, ND, son of the late Olaus E. and Ethel (Kloster). He was raised in Sharon and then graduated from the University of North Dakota. He moved to California to begin his life-long passion for teaching. He also worked as a design draftsman in the Aerospace Industry in California.
In 1960, he was united in marriage to Edith Mellor. They moved to North Dakota, where Bob received his Master’s Degree from UND. He had an illustrious career as an educator, winning awards, chairing a national committee, and completing two sabbaticals. His career took him to Michigan Technological University as a lecturer, where he retired in 1997.
Bob was passionate about life, not letting a single moment pass him by. His zest overflowed to everyone he met, as he brought a smile to all. Bob led by example, modeling compassion, love, and tolerance to all. He enjoyed woodworking, leather crafting, vegetable gardening, games, pets, music/dancing, snowshoeing, and friends. Bob was a man of deep faith, teaching Sunday School and serving as grandparents (with Edith) at Fortune Lake Bible Camp. Throughout his life, Bob was a member of the Masons, Eastern Star, Sons of Norway, ASEE, and many other organizations.
Bob is survived by his wife: Edith; daughter: Karin (Donna) and son Karl; His grandsons: Chad (Haley), Eric, and twin, Richard.
It’s Alumni Reunion Week at Michigan Tech. Whether you are here with us on campus this weekend or celebrating in spirit from around the world, we’d love to hear from you.
Join the conversation and add your favorite Michigan Tech memory below.